As of last Friday when President Trump declared a national emergency due to the Cororna Virus the wheels of government went into motion to cope with the impending crisis.
President Trump on Friday declared that the coronavirus pandemic is a national emergency, a designation that frees up as much as $50 billion in federal assistance to state and local governments overwhelmed by the spread of the virus, and makes it easier to surge medical resources to areas that need them most.
State government shutdown campus classes at most colleges in the state and sent some students home with the option of telecomuting for classes.
On Monday, ESU 8 shut down all the schools in its area. In conjunction with the North Central District Health Department and our ESU #8 schools, we will be closing all schools in our district until after March 31.
Restrictions on public gatherings were suggested statewide by Governor Pete Ricketts which is what prompted the cancellation of the St. Patrick's day parade in O'Neill on Friday.
People in the area bought up all the toilet paper as well as eggs and milk in O'Neill according to local grocers.
Businesses in O'Neill are taking precautions as well. All dental clinics in O'Neill are restricted to seeing emergency patients, Bankfirst and Tri-County bank are doing business through the drive thru window and Dairy Queen is having drive-thru and inside pickup but the dining area is closed. The O'Neill City offices and the O'Neill Police Department will be closing to the public through April 3. You may call to have any calls answered
Local places of worship were also affected with many of them deciding to cancel services for at least a week.
Staff at Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital and Avera Medical Group O’Neill Clinic are asking that only immediate family members visit patients at the hospital, in an effort to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19.
Visitors will be limited to one person at a time in the inpatient unit.
“We again ask anyone who is sick, has influenza or has had any COVID-19 exposure to not visit the clinic or hospital,” said Avera St. Anthony’s Director of Nursing Amy Langan, RN, MSN. “We’re also asking that no visitors come to our cafeteria until further notice. All these measures and previous measures are being taken to protect our public but also to protect our health care team.”
If you need medical aid or have questions, please call 402-336-2900. If you have a cough, a fever more than 100 degrees or trouble breathing or fear you have had exposure to someone with COVID-19, call 402-336-2900 to report your symptoms prior to visiting the clinic or hospital.
More information is available at Avera.org/COVID-19.
Avoiding COVID-19 requires smart hygiene and consistent protective measures. There are many simple steps you can take to protect yourself, your family and friends. Follow the steps below to give yourself the best chance of preventing the onset of COVID-19.
• Wash Your Hands
Clean hands can be the key to making it through the coronavirus pandemic as healthy as possible. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, experts recommend using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. When using sanitizer, cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Experts also recommend avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Social distancing means keeping reasonable space between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Avoid large crowds and public gatherings to cut down your risk of contracting the virus. This also includes staying home from work or school if you’re sick. Think about others who you may be putting at risk and make the responsible decision.
•Wear a Face mask if You Are Sick
If you are sick, you should wear a face mask when you are around other people. Also put on a mask before entering a health care provider’s office.
If you are not able to wear a face mask, try your best to fully cover your coughs and sneezes. Recommend that people who are caring for you wear a face mask if they enter your room.
• Clean and Disinfect
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a daily basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning and disinfecting tables, tablets, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them by using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.